EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The annual Run Santa Run 5K race returned in-person Saturday morning in downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park.

People laced up their sneakers and braved the cold in their holiday gear.

The Grinch even showed up to see who could beat him to the finish line.

Race director Rickey Chernik says this is a nice way to get into the holiday spirit.

“Kick off the holiday season with a fun little run for the family and get them dressed up,” Chernik said. “With your registration fee, you get a hat and a shirt and your character costume and character-specific medals at the finish line, so we really try to embrace that character.”

Medals were handed out for best Santa, best elf, and best polar bear costumes.

This year’s race benefited Chippewa Valley’s Girls on the Run who also volunteered.